Epic cycle ride undertaken by unfit, overweight, not middled aged lady

I visited Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos in 2002. One of the things that really struck me about the countries was the indefatigable people, the welcome extended to visitors and the simple joy taken in small pleasures. But, having visited the Museum of the American War in Ho Chi Minh City, seen the 'Danger UXB' signs in Laos and read the good news headline in a paper in Cambodia: ' Deaths from UXBs down to 3 this month. Only 40 maimed.' I was acutely aware of the toll still being taken on the population.

Over the years I have pondered the munitions still there and this year I have finally decided to get off my bottom and do something. So I have, somewhat impetuously and with little regard for my physical fitness, cycling ability or dodgy left knee decided to join the MAG cycle ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Ankor Wat. I will be doing this the first week or so in Feb 2011 and it does involve a couple of days of over 100km in 30 degree heat. Having signed up I have been told that neither a rickshaw nor an electric bikes are options and that doing the distance on my own pedals is expected.

Donation link is further down on the right - I have paid for my own flights and contributed enough to cover living expenses so all money raised from sponsorship will go to MAG.

This is my blog of my progress to get on the road and when I am there - assuming I will be capable of rational thought after a day of unaccustomed exercise.

Friday, 24 September 2010

The Quest for Tahini...

Well, we have the first of the wine tastings tomorrow evening so was sorting out bottles from the wine cellar* and planning the menu this morning. Then hit a bit of a major snag; decided I would serve up a mezze (including baba ghanoug and felafel) but when compiling the shopping list realised that the tahini vat was empty.  From bitter experience we know that the Hertford Tesco does not carry it and I have a regular trek to West London to stock up on this and other essentials (like pomegranate syrup) but I must have brought less than I thought last time and the cupboard was bare. 

After a desperate facebook plea this morning there was a posse of archers (not sure if that is the right collective term - a flight?) scouring the Hertford countryside for this essential Middle Eastern ingredient. The troops (aka Rosemary and Sarah) reported back at about 2pm indicating that there was no tahini to be had in either Hatfield or Ware. Panic set in and I debated about selecting an alternative cuisine but then I saw a strange light and a voice said 'seek your desire at Waitrose' **. Obviously I now had a mission so I hopped on the bike and there was a moment of joy in the sauce aisle, I thanked my lucky stars and cleared them out of their  stock so we now have a couple of jars in the kitchen. 

Training wise I have been on the exercise bike this week plus will be on again this evening; hopefully doing a little more than the five miles on Monday night. Anyhow I plan to do a proper ride on Sunday providing that I am not feeling too delicate from all the spicy food the night before.  Obviously the quantity of wine to be consumed will have nothing whatsoever to do with my relative health. So I am managing the three rides a week I should be doing at this stage although I may not be quite managing the distances that I should.

Buff have sent me a few bits and pieces for my bike so I am hoping that Paulie will 'pimp my ride' over the weekend and I should be posting some photos of me fully buffed :-)

* I 'fess up; the wine cellar also doubles as the under stairs cupboard.

** Oh ok, there wasn't a light but thought this was more interesting than stating 'Rosemary posted a suggestion on my wall'.

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